I have a 19 year old daughter.
Christine Keeler was 19 when she was “introduced” to John Profumo. If a 46 year old married politician started carrying on with my daughter I would promptly knock his lights out, phone his wife, and expose him in public for the scumbag that he is.
Christine Keeler was a vulnerable girl. Product of a broken home, her parents split up when she was a child. Her mother moved in with a boyfriend who made the pretty young Christine feel very uncomfortable if they were ever alone in the disused railway carriage that was their home.
She had a fling with a US serviceman who left her, when he found out she was pregnant. Her mother basically forced her to have the baby unassisted and the child survived only 6 days. It is little surprise that Christine escaped as soon as she could.
In the “glamorous” Soho club scene of the 1960’s she was a lamb to the slaughter. Described by some as a “party girl” and others as a prostitute she lived in a gray world in the middle. Exploited but not paid for it.
Christine Keeler had a number of unfortunate relationships with some pretty nasty characters. She saw firsthand how the “swinging 60’s” was in fact a pretty seedy scene. There were rumors and the press heard some juicy tales but had no proof.
Everything came to a head when one of Christine’s “boyfriends” lost his temper and fired a gun outside the flat she was hiding in. Stephen Ward’s flat.
The journalists had a reason to investigate and what they turned up was just too good to believe. The British Minister for War was in a relationship with a call girl who also shared her attentions with a Russian Embassy attaché who was probably a KGB agent.
When it came to light that Keeler and her friend Mandy Rice-Davies were involved in parties with one of his government ministers the PM, Harold McMillan said that his government would not be brought down by 2 tarts. Profumo lied in parliament about the affair. He ended up resigning. The government fell. Many people blamed the 19 year old girl, by then 22 years old and dragged through the courts.
Christine Keeler died this week. She never profited from her affair. She had a pretty sad life. She is best remembered for the saucy image in the photo above. A long way from working as a tea lady to make ends meet.
John Profumo, the disgraced minister, devoted his life to the poor. He had the money to do it. When he died in 2006 he was lauded for his good works and not blamed for his part in the affair.
As the father of a 19 year old girl I say he was a creep and she was a victim. It appears that rich and powerful people can attain redemption but that is more difficult for poor people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. But what do I know?